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British man jailed for three months in Dubai for touching another man’s hip

Joseph McCormick October 22, 2017
Jamie Harron (Facebook)

Jamie Harron (Facebook)

The British man who was accused of touching another man’s hip in a Dubai bar has been jailed for three months.

Jamie Harron, a 27-year-old electrician from Stirling, was arrested for public indecency after he touched another man in a bar, apparently to avoid spilling a drink.

The incident took place at the Rock Bottom Bar on July 15.

Jamie Harron
Jamie Harron (Facebook)

The man who had accused him of touching his hip last week reportedly dropped his complaint against Harron and it was believed that he might be sent home soon.

But this weekend, Harron was jailed for three months after spending months in jail and thousands of pounds on legal costs and expenses.

Detained in Dubai, a legal advocacy group, confirmed today that Harron was jailed for three months but that they planned to appeal the decision.

According to the group, Harron said he was “angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next”.

Harron remains out of custody while the appeal is considered, Radha Stirling, DiD’s chief executive said.

Ms Stirling said: “Now Jamie has been sentenced to three months; there is no telling whether a judgement on appeal will be better or worse.

“He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration.

“His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE’s cybercrime laws which forbid criticism of the government.

“At this point, Jamie will definitely be pursuing civil action against his accusers when he does eventually return home, as it appears that he will not be able to find justice in the UAE.”

Harron’s accuser’s employer Neuman & Esser said last week: “With a certain distance from the incident and the punishment to be expected for the suspect, our employee decided to withdraw the complaint despite the harassment having been confirmed by several witnesses.

Related: Where is it illegal to be gay? A look at all the countries where homosexuality is against the law

“However, according to the typical laws for the country, this does not automatically result in the termination of the proceedings as, for example, very likely in England or Germany.”

Harron had already been fined, sentenced to 30 days in prison and will be deported for drinking alcohol, “making a rude gesture” and failing to turn up to court.

But Detained in Dubai said that Harron had not been told of the previous court date.

His lawyers have submitted an appeal against the earlier charges. Harron is said to have admitted drinking alcohol but denied making the gesture.

Detained in Dubai had taken on the case on Harron’s behalf.

It describes itself as “a not for profit organisation formed to assist people who have become victims of injustice in the United Arab Emirates”.

Dubai waterfront (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Dubai waterfront (Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, previously said: “Regarding the alcohol charges, of course he was drinking, everyone was. The entire enforcement system in the UAE needs an overhaul.

“The case has prompted 80 messages an hour of support and has even prompted calls for a boycott of the UAE over its treatment of expats and tourists.”

Harron’s parents Graham and Patricia recently spoke out about their worry for their son.

“We can’t believe that this nightmare has gone on for three months,” said his father Graham.

“Jamie is a good boy. He has never been a problem and never in trouble. We are a very close family and it is killing us to think of him spending even 3 nights in jail, let alone 3 years.”

Gay sex is illegal for men and women in the United Arab Emirates under section 354 of the federation’s legal code.

Punishment can include deportation, chemical castrations, fines and prison time. While the legal code mentions the death penalty, it has not been implemented for same-sex relations in the country.

More: anti-gay laws, dubai, jamie harron, Middle East, UAE, UAE, united arab emirates

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